If you’re a woman and you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to face some very… let’s say unique things in your career.
I’ve been building businesses for nearly eight years now. I just sold my first successful company last year (in the legal field) and have been in the process of diversifying my passive income with things like real estate.
Yeah, as you can imagine that in these male-dominated fields, I’ve run into some pretty interesting things. So in this post, I thought I’d share some more about those experiences, and how to handle some of the stickier situations that I’ve run into as a female entrepreneur.
One of my unintentional mantras over the last few years has become, “What would a man do?” Not because I don’t think women can do the same things, but sometimes, you have the navigate the “games” a little bit differently when you’re a woman.
Getting my business ready for sale and some of the real estate transactions that I’ve had, I’ve had to really ask myself this question when I found I was second-guessing myself. I found that a lot of the decision-making fatigue that I was running up against was because I was worried about the way that it would be perceived.
Because unfortunately, there have been times on this journey when I’ve been told not to be “too hysterical” or think about it “logically,” which was bullshit TBH. You know that though. But I found that men in businesses don’t really seem to give a second thought about what others think of them, so I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t either.
It’s not always easy, but I try. Because confidence is a skill you can build, and the more you try, the stronger that skill becomes, even if you look back sometimes and wish you would have said XYZ to sound more confident on the phone, or in a meeting, or whatever.
Society at large has a very different expectation of women than what might actually be true. According to this narrative, women are expected to be very motherly, and very caring, and yes, these are all wonderful qualities that people can choose to embrace. But I don’t think you have to embrace those if that’s not you.
Not every woman is the same. Some don’t want kids. Some want tons of ‘em. Some are girly and like to spend all their money at Sephora (okay me, but, whatever), and some could not care less about WTF is happening on #BeautyTok.
But you know what’s cool? Showing up exactly as you are and standing your ground for your business. As you do that, you set boundaries. And while everyone will always have expectations, being yourself, even in business, tells them what to expect.
Define your mission and do exactly that, but please know that this can change and shift over time. You don’t have to keep going with the same mission you started with, but you need to have some sort of direction if you want to make it out there.
When I first started, my mission was to help empower people to DIY what parts of their business they could for the legal stuff (the parts they could, anyways). There’s a lot that you need a lawyer for, but there are a lot of things you don’t need a lawyer for, and I wanted people to feel like they had options.
Because one of the things that I was taught in law school is that lawyers should make things purposely hard for their clients so that people are always reliant on their lawyers. I didn’t buy that and I made it my mission to basically create the opposite of that, and I was incredibly successful in doing so because that was so unheard of.
But obviously, I sold The Contract Shop® and no longer offer that kind of help. Now, I want to help you to build your passive income empires, whatever that looks like. I want to help you define it. I want to help you grow and scale it.
That’s a very different mission, but it’s a mission. Your purpose and your mission can continue to grow and shift and evolve over time, and they should.
Everyone in business has influence, and I don’t just mean in the sense of being an influencer. You’re going to be out there talking with people that are interacting with your products and services. So what kind of influence do you want to have over those people?
We each have an influence over our clients and our customers’ or clients’ lives by showing them what they need to have inside of their lives. So whatever your mission is today, it’s important to define that and define what kind of impact you want to have for your audience.
Another area I’ve unexpectedly had to finesse in entrepreneurship is with earning respect. I’ve noticed that when men get together, they typically just already have a base level of respect for each other. And I would say that entrepreneurship attracts a particular breed of people that are opportunistic, but that doesn’t always convey respect for women. At least, not in my experience.
I’ve been in plenty of conversations, been in plenty of rooms, where I felt uncomfortable because I could pick up on that vibe (IYKYK).
A recent example of this is when I talked about selling The Contract Shop® a few months ago on YouTube. In one of those videos, I compared brokerages and talked a little about the ones I decided not to go with. I wasn’t slanderous, I just gave the facts and my opinions.
And whaddya know…a broker from one of those firms I DIDN’T go with reached out. I knew where this was going, so I wasn’t going to waste my time. I was like, “Hey, if you want to sponsor the YouTube channel, then we can get on a phone call and discuss.”
He said he was interested, so we set up a call. But instead of discussing sponsorship, he decided to give me a sales pitch about all the reasons why his brokerage was the best, that he could have gotten me a better offer than the one I got, etc.
I immediately felt disrespected, but I stood my ground and responded by giving him all the reasons I *respectfully* disagreed. I hate that I had to go to bat for my opinions, but it was worth it because I could see it very clearly took him by surprise that I knew my shit.
Oh, and, if you want to see the video I was talking about, catch it below. Because knowledge is power, and despite what that broker thought, I actually do know my shit 😌